Bruce has joined us along with Paul LW. They have both done Fastnets and Round Ireland races on Wild Spirit plus Sydney Hobarts with me. Ross who has raced on WS before and done a Caribbean 600 with me is also on board and Trevor who did the Cherbourg race last weekend is also signed up.We have other inquiries from Oz as well so it looks like we will be full by Christmas.
A confirmed booking that turned into a cancellation means we have spaces on the long and short weekends on 16th and 24th October. It is a RYA course but you can just come sailing and practice a few skills. Special price is £175 for long weekend on 16th and £150 for the 24th. If you have completed a ful price RYA course, race or cruise with us in the last year you can still claim your £50 off.
The 7 day RYA course that finished on the 21st September included a crossing to Cherbourg then on to Alderney and back via Weymouth. We had plenty of wind with some fast sailing, everyone passed and had a great time so we will probably use the format again next season.
I have always said September and October are the best months for sailing and now the weather re-enforces that message.The race weekend to Poole is full and we have had to turn 2 people away. there are a couple of spaces left on the other 2 race weekends and 2 left on the cruise across to St Vaast from Thursday evening 2nd October to the Sunday afternoon. At least one good Dinner out and the chance to visit the splendid market at St Vaast plus bring some wine back.
Bookings are up so if you want a place on the last few races or courses don’t delay.
Fastnet 2015 Initial details are now available and we already have 2 bookings.
The sailing round Ireland and Scotland was great, this plus marvelous company made it truly memorable despite a few days bad weather.
We picked up some silverware in the Round Ireland race and finished without any casualties despite 39Kts of wind and some 8 metre waves. The race report is below.
September and October are my favourite months for sailing around the Britain, the sea is warmest around 21st September there is no hassle finding a parking place or restaurant table for the night and everyone is pleased to see you.
Our race programme has two weekends suitable for novices and one across to Cherbourg which already has one novice so we will only take one more who has not sailed before. The cruise across to st Vaast is one I always look forward to as I love its Saturday market and a couple of good meals out.
Some RYA courses are full but there are some spaces and if you don’t want to do a qualification you can just come sailing. The summer issue of getting at least 4 night hours in is no longer a problem and the probability of bad weather is less than most other months. Some of the anchorages which just get too congested in the Summer are now nearly empty–I am looking forward to sailing again in a week or so.
Every year there are hundreds of Yachting Races all around the world, some take place on the same race course every year, some take place on difference courses and waters each race and others even circumnavigate the globe. This info graphic created by Wild Spirit Sailing provides a guide to the top yachting races on the sailing calendar. This info graphic travels throughout the world stopping at some of the most popular and famous yachting races along the way from the Sydney Hobart Race in Australia to the Americas Cup in San Francisco and everywhere in-between. Each section of this info graphic gives details of where the race starts and finishes, the location and course length and how many entries each race has. Each section also chronicles the current winners, when the next race will take place and finally a fun fact about each race. For example did you know that the America’s Cup is the oldest international sporting trophy? Or that in 2004 while competing in the Vendee Globe, Roland Jourdain sailed 439 in an unbelievable 24 hours! If you are a sailing enthusiast, a keen competitor or just a curious spectator this info graphic will provide you with all you need to know about the top yachting races from around the world!
For some reason the cruise from Troon on 6th August to Holyhead on 22nd August has not sold so it goes on special at just £495. You don’t need any experience for this one and you can do RYA Competent Crew for an extra £25. We will have one or 2 ‘Qualifying passages’ for budding Yachtmasters but it is not a high mileage trip like the next leg back to lymington.
Destinations are likely to include Arran, Islay, Rathlin island, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man plus possibly Dublin.
Two of the team had helped with the delivery from Lymington to Wicklow but the rest flew in the day before the race. It probably isn’t a good move to be out drinking until the early hours just before the start of one of the world’s classic offshore races, but we were in Ireland and these things happen. Looking at the team the next morning they were more the Motley 7 than the Magnificent.
The forecast had been for a lack of wind but the start saw plenty, two yachts collided and we set off under white sails then hoisted a spinnaker, or rather we tried to hoist it and after quite a long time succeeded. The first 40 miles down to Tuskar Rock were magnificent and we flew our second largest spinnaker with occasional Jibes, some of which were intentional, the team settled down up and we started to compete, by the Rock we were 3rd overall on the official tracking system.
Racing close alongside or friends and rivals from the 2012 race on Desert Star we continued down the southern coast past Cork and Kinsale towards the Fastnet rock. JC took time off the Helm to get some cracking photos of them and they have a video of us we are looking forward to seeing. Here we all ended up becalmed and after several hours Geoff, a very experienced Dinghy racer, managed to get us going again and I took over to claw away from the pack and across Bantry bay. The wind returned and in glorious weather we ran under spinnakers up the west close of Ireland past great Blasket and the Aran islands. Some major races have good scenery but none quite as good as this coast. We were in a good position leading a group, but this has the disadvantage that there was no-one with a similar characteristics yacht to follow and in the absence of any information on the tides we made a tactical error which cost us several places.
Black Rock off the rocky mullet Peninsular was about 20miles ahead and we were concerned that the forecast was for no wind. We could either go out, go in very close and hope for wind down of the mountains or hope to just get through and catch a light NE going tide. The third option didn’t appeal as there was a chance that the tide would take us the wrong side of the Rock, the first meant sailing an extra 10 miles or more with no guarantee of wind. I choose the second option and we ended up becalmed for 12 hours. At least we saw some whales to go with the many Dolphins.
The forecast was for a Force 7 from the SW, then a Gale warning followed, by the time we reached Tory island of NW Ireland we were running before over 30 kts with a reefed main and storm spinnaker. These were seriously big waves (others estimating 8 metres) and we were surfing along averaging well over 10 kts SOG (Speed over ground). Rigger Paul (Now also Navigator) demonstrated some sailing backwards as part of a large broach up a very big wave and I moved to helm for several hours. Harry in his first big offshore race seemed totally unfazed but then he is a Kiwi.
Rounding Tory Island we were still in a full Atlantic gale with sustained wind just under 40 kts. We regularly achieved 14.8 kts through the water and once hit 14.9 with 39 kts of breeze behind us and our Storm Spinnaker up. John and Damian continued their sterling efforts on mainsheet and in the Galley.
We broached a few times, plus bent some stainless steel deck fittings, but recovered without much fuss, then as soon as we had rounded the rocks off Inishtrahull we dipped south to enjoy smaller waves but still a F7/8 wind. Now we, and probably several other teams, went off the boil for a bit and continued with a reef in the main sail when we should have shaken it out. After 5 hours solid on the Helm I was really tired and we agreed a role change for rounding Rathlin Island with rigger Paul taking my watch so I could have a recovery sleep.
Rathlin Island has notoriously difficult tides, but I had some knowledge of them and as soon as we had reached the right point I went to sleep and Paul and Geoff took us round in good time. I woke once as I hit the roof of the cabin when going through a tidal race and then 5 hours later at Mew Island off the NE coast where I found we had caught up with 4 other yachts. We sailed on south in light winds knowing that much stronger ones were to come. We had expected them from the south but they were SE which made progress easier but waves bigger. By the time we were just North of Dublin Bay the wind had gone due South and strengthened to Force 6/7, the tide was against us and progress towards Wicklow and the finish slowed to less than 2 kts. We beat on into the night and with the turn of the tide progress increased but the wind remained hard on the nose and we picked a gap in the Kish Bank off the coast to cross to calmer waters inside. The wind was now a good force 7, so not quite a Gale, but when you are sailing into it at 7 kts it seems like one and we had only a small gap to get through, we made it but passed within 5 metres of a large metal buoy with waves breaking over it and the bank all around us.
Now in calmer waters but still with a F7 we made good progress down to the finish arriving just after 0600 on the Friday morning. The standard Wicklow welcome followed, by standard I mean the standard of hospitality for which the Irish are known throughout the World. The rest is a Blur
12th overall including beating a Volvo 70. 5th in Class and winners of the team trophy as part of the Wild Spirit, British Army (Fujitsu) and Endgame team. Roll on 2016 and our chance to return for what I consider to be the best offshore race in the World.
I am away sailing now until about 8th July but Judith will sort out inquiries and bookings and I will get e-mails from time to time but not during week from 28th June as it is the Round Ireland race and you can follow us via http://www.roundirelandyachtrace.ie/
Still a few places left on the legs of the Hebrides cruises–we wont be back up there for a few years so this is your chance.
Congratulations to Wild Spirit sailor Shelf and the whole team of Wight Rose on winning the 3 Peaks yacht race. in light winds creeping along under spinnaker they were eventually overhauled by the British Army team but overtook them on the run up Ben Nevis to win. Andy Palmer another Wild Spirit regular is still racing and looks set to pick up some silverware.